Do you strive to live in Grace or Nature

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Yesterday I was down & decided to put in a movie, The Tree of Life. It was a movie full of imagery, music, thought, story…visually it stirred my soul, but the other aspect of the story line was the way we live our lives. Held within the story walls was an emotional war between the mother (who strived to live in a place of grace) and a father who was driven by human nature.

It made me wonder how to hold onto those directions we strive to live in our life. How do you hold on to the need for grace, for light, for love and not be distracted by the fears, ego, society…

So, I am going to google, “How to hold on to grace in our life” and see what comes up. I will leave you my findings to then sprinkle them into your own life. Peace to you.

ego_search_for_wholeness.jpgSo, I came across a definition by Dallas Willard that says,

“Grace is God acting in our life.”

To me this is EVERYTHING…every detail, every gift we hold, every breath we take, every laughter, every moment. Through all things God is acting in our life. Everywhere you look, the breeze, the colors, the sounds, the scents, the smiles, the majestic mountains, the crashing seas, the hands that hold one another, the babies born, the muscles that walk, the eyes that see, the hopes, the dreams, the challenge, the changes, the soul of life, it is bigger than anything and everything.

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“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”     We must have faith and a knowing that when challenges occur, there is a bigger plan surrounding us. We must look for the seed in which we can grow in this seemingly dark place.     This makes me think of a dear friend of ours who is in her forties, is in the beginning stages of a late pregnancy, and just had a full blown stroke. I also think of my sister-in-law who has triplets and today is taking one of them in to find out if she has cerebral palsy at the sweet age of two.    My heart weeps for them, my soul is stirred in aching pain, trying to understand the challenges they are facing. I can’t even imagine. BUT, it also makes me see how precious each day is, that life is too short, that we must strive to live, to love, to have faith in tomorrow.

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“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Look all around you. Have you not been given much? Do your eyes see? Do your legs hold you high? Do you hear a whisper from your child? Do you see the sunlight shine down on you? Do you have hope? Do you have love in your heart? Have hope that you have all you need at this very moment. Have a knowing that He will provide for your every need.

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Always have faith that God can be your refuge & will give you strength in your time of need.  I do find comfort in feeling that when I need Him, He is there. I feel that I am not alone in this world & that I am just a prayer away.  I have been reading a sweet book called, “Where angels walk” by Joan Wester Anderson. It is a book full of beautiful stories of angels who have come to the aid of children who were about to be harmed, protected women in scary situations, carried a young boy home who had been bit by a rattlesnake…heaven is closer than we know. Nothing separates us but ourselves. I believe if we call on heavenly forces to help us, they will do all they can to be there.

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“Nothing can separate us from the Love of God.” -Romans 8

Isn’t that a beautiful idea. NOTHING can come between us, so we must have faith that we can call on Him, call on angels, know that whatever we are going through, whatever we have to face, we are so close to heaven.

I thought this was funny…God has no phone, but I talk to Him. He has no Facebook, but He is still my friend. He does not have Twitter, but I still follow Him.  Nothing can separate us from Him, except us. He longs to be near, He longs to hear your prayers. He is there and nothing can separate us from that love.

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Ask and ye shall receive

According to Lifecoach Cheryl Richardson, “I’ve learned now, in working in partnership [with God] and dancing with grace, that when I need direction, I will ask for it.” Cheryl says she uses this mantra: “Give me direction. Let me see the doors that are open, make sure that I see them and open those doors.Answers are around you all the time, but the question is, how present are you to them? “The more present you become to your life, the more you begin to see that there are signs all around you,” Cheryl says.

Take note when you begin to judge or shut down what someone’s saying to you and try to stay open-minded, Cheryl says. “What if everyone that comes into our life is a spiritual change agent in some way? The more open you can be, the more you allow your life to change and the more you see the influence of grace,” she says. “A closed mind is the barrier to living a grace-filled life.”When you see signs of grace in your life, you’re entering into “the dance,” Cheryl says. The dance of grace represents your psychological growth: You realize there are coincidences that occur in your life and recognize that it is part of this divine intelligence working in your life. “As you begin to see those signs, you realize, ‘Wow, I am co-creating [my life] with some kind of spiritual intelligence here.'”

Cheryl says it’s also important to listen, pay attention and take action. “When you get the messages, you need to act on them,” she says.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Finding-Grace-in-Your-Life#ixzz3k1s6yBAf


Well, that is all for today. I hope these scriptures and thoughts will give you something to think about. I think just looking for the many ways God is Acting in Your Life each day and finding gratitude in those things will open the doors to grace in your life, which will then mirror into the lives of those around you. Peace to you today.  -H

Looking for the Gift of Grace

ImageI do not at all understand the mystery of grace, only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
-Anne Lamott 

The word “Grace” derives from the Greek, chars. In Secular Greek, chars was related to chair, “to rejoice.”

Over the years I have learned to look for the tiny signs, the details that may lead me to a moment of grace, a moment of quiet rejoicing, in finding that I am truly not alone in this world.

I want you to think of a time where life was painful or you felt alone or you needed comfort and someone showed up, or you received a phone call you needed to hear or a special song played on the radio just for you.  I want you to think about the smallest threads that have held you together when you felt like things were unraveling around you. It is through these moments that we can find that quiet place of grace.

I have been very blessed with little moments when I need them most. It’s as if at my lowest points there is a glimpse or shimmer of something bigger than me. When I need an answer more than ever, I am handed a gracious gift. They may seem small and insignificant to you, but to me they are cherished jewels that I can string together and hold on to.

I wanted to share a few of these moments with you, so hopefully you will look all around you and see a moment, a sign, a gift of grace…

Just the other day I had been thinking and praying to know what is going to happen with my husbands professional career…would he find a job, will he be able to handle the pressure, will we have to move? I had been feeling very anxious, needing to know what lies ahead, wondering if we will have to move again, concerned about how my daughter Kate will handle such change…on and on the worries played.

Then, that night while we tucked our daughter into bed we were debating if we should listen to music, read a story, etc. I lifted up our little children’s devotion book and my daughter grabbed it out of my hands and started flipping through the pages. She said, “lets do the day of my birthday.” We had practically missed almost every day in February, so I was fine going back to her special day. We began to read and I instantly knew the message was for me, for all of us. It read…THE FUTURE IS MY SECRET…Sometimes you think it might be nice to know the future, what to expect, how things will turn out. There are even some people who claim they can tell you the future. But the future is a secret. It is my secret. When you try to figure out the future you are reaching for something that is Mine. My keeping your future a secret, I am teaching you to depend on Me. Trust My promises to care for you, to look out for you. I will show you the next step you need to take, and the one after that, and the one after that–one step at a time. Don’t try to rush ahead of Me. Just relax and enjoy the journey to your future–one day at a time.

Another moment was a time when my husband was leaving town on a business trip. He had been really stressed with work, had not had time to physically work out and things were really getting to him.  I was worried, really worried about where he was in his mind. He had been very emotional. I stood in our driveway with our little girl and we watched him drive away. I had this terrible feeling come over me and I was filled with more worry and concern. I felt like we may never see him again, that something was going to happen. I grabbed my daughter’s hand and told her we needed to say a prayer for Daddy. She asked me why and I told her I was a little worried for Dad and that we needed to pray for him to be safe. We said a prayer and I still felt a little unsettled. I saw Louise Hay’s affirmation cards and I grabbed one from the stack, it read, “I move through life knowing that I am safe—Divinely protected and guided.” A wave of calm ran through my body and peace filled me and I knew he would be okay.

One last moment I will share was this last summer when my little family was deciding if we should make a special trip to the Oregon coast.  I have wanted to go visit the Redwood Forest for years and my husbands job was constantly taking him to Washington and Oregon, so we were thinking this would be a good time to go. I began planning, looking at costs, trying to figure out if it would be good timing when my daughter ended up in the hospital a few months before with Pneumonia. Thankfully she was there only a couple days and got better, but then the medical bills came, our car had some issues and the Redwood trip looked like it should be pushed back to another year. The day we had decided the timing was not right I had a couple of moments of grace…that same day I was looking through my book collection for a book to include in a teacher appreciation basket. I came across a book called  “The Woman’s book of Confidence.” I began to flip through the pages to make sure there were not any notes or markings when I came across a page titled, “Deep Roots.” I was curious and began to read, it was all about this women’s trip along the coast and the Redwood forest. I knew this was a sign. I immediately called my husband and told him we needed to go. Later that same day I took a walk through the forest near my home. I was smiling to myself thinking about the amazing coincidence that had just occurred when a voice in my head said, “it’s about time you got it!! I have been trying to tell you, I even had you move to Redwood Drive.”  I laughed out loud at this funny moment. There was definitely inspiration about!! It is a good thing we took the adventure to the coast because now my husband will not be traveling to Oregon or Washington again. Thank heavens for that amazing trip. I am glad we listened.

Well, inspiration, grace, whispers, feelings, thoughts, all echo the same song…that you are not alone, so look for the little signs, pick up the books that seem to call you, fill your heart with wonder, look for the magic in all things and know you are not alone.

Lots of love and grace filled moments to you. -Heather